On Sunday, December 27, 2015, CCJ Senior Minister Darrel Land announced to the people of CCJ the church’s plans to launch our first multi-site location in Loogootee, Ind.
While no firm date has been set, we hope to launch this first location in 2016. We currently have plans to utilize the former Pamida/Shopko building located on the south end of Loogootee.
Watch the full video above for further details (start at 30:30).
I have said before if our mission is to grow a large church — then mission accomplished. But our mission isn’t to grow a large church. Our mission is to reach people for Jesus. Not long ago in our “Team” sermon series, we laid out one of the strategies in which God is leading us to do that. The leaders of the church have been led to do this through multi-site church. We feel the best way to make disciples the fastest and most effectively is to be One Church in multiple locations.
When we look around most of Southern Indiana we see churches on the decline. We see once-thriving churches dying and, honestly, a couple funerals away from death as a church. While church planters are going to larger populations and urban areas, none of them are going to rural America. In defense of them, when they started planting churches rural America had thriving churches reaching lost people — so it made sense. However, that has changed. Generations of people in this region are not growing up in the church or staying in the church and as a result don’t know Jesus.
What we are going to do is begin to spread out. Many of you who drive here from other communities realize you will never get your lost friends to come here but you have a better shot at getting them to attend a church like this in your community.
As we explained in the “Team” series, we will go to communities within our region where there are not churches like ours that match up with our DNA of reaching the unchurched and underchurched and we will start campuses with worship services and ministry a lot like here. We will hire a lean staff to lead those ministries and the sermon will be the same at all of our locations coming live from the 1450 (Energy Drive) campus.
Over the last year, year-and-a-half, we’ve been praying over two particular locations (north and south) while also being open to communities east and west of here. We been asking God, “Where do you want us to go?” I think this is really important for you to know and to understand. God has actually kept several doors shut. We’ve walked up and we’ve knocked and we said, “God, where do you want us to go?” We thought maybe He was moving us in a direction and He ended up shutting a door. He either said, “No,” or He is saying, “Not yet.”
So with that being said, I am very excited to share where He has really opened the door. I am really excited to announce that CCJ is moving forward with our first additional location. The first CCJ multi-site location will be located in Loogootee Indiana.
Some of you may wonder why Loogootee?
It is one of those areas we identified because so many from that direction are driving to CCJ and there are so many in that area not going to church at all. In addition, over the last few months a unique opportunity has opened up.
There is a CCJ family from Loogootee who is purchasing a large retail building and presented us with an opportunity to lease most of the building for the church. Right as you pull into town there is the former Shopko building. We would have access to build out of 25,000 square feet of worship space that would include a great children’s area, large lobby like here and a great worship center. The potential of this location is fantastic and the excitement is through the roof.
We are beginning the planning process and will begin making plans to finish out the space and we are already talking to some potential staff including a campus pastor to lead the efforts there. Drew is putting together a task force of members to lead this process and we hope to hold our first services in 2016.
We are so excited about the potential. So here’s the thing. I want to be really, really clear about this. We are going multisite because we believe this is a really smart tactic to reach people faster and more effectively for Jesus Christ, period. We are not going multisite because we think it’s a cool fad. We’re not going multisite because we think we are God’s gift. We are going multisite really because God has done a tremendous thing in the life of this church and there are people who live all over and this particular campus, while it is a great thing, it is also a barrier to reach friends. I have people tell me all the time, “I would love to get my lost friend to CCJ but there is no way I can get them to drive that distance. Not to mention if you are unchurched, in some ways, this campus can be a little intimidating.
And guess what… Eventually this campus will reach a saturation point. We already fill up two services most weeks and building more here just wouldn’t be as effective as spreading out.
The Loogootee location is about as good as it can get. We don’t have to build or even do incredibly expensive remodeling in a place where a lease could be cost prohibitive. We have a business owner partnering with us to make this work. I am so excited for the opportunities.
No matter the cost, there are people dying and going to hell and we have to do all we can to reach them and where God calls He always equips and provides. I remember when starting this church one man telling me I would be broke in year. What he didn’t know is God doesn’t know limited boundaries.
2015 has been a great year but we believe the future will be greater. We believe that there are so many lost people. Times are getting dark. The world is getting bad. So the church must respond by shining the light of Jesus even brighter. We are not going to slow down or let up. We are going to love God, love people and watch this church be a generational impact as God changes the world one person at a time.
We will go to any length, short of sin, to reach those lost people. Why? It’s simple, because that’s what God did for us. He sent Jesus.